Kissing manatees, wedlocked love bugs, reddish egrets wildly dancing in courtship and ospreys happily building their nest together: You can’t help but fall under the spell of the birds, bees and other critters and romance that the unspoiled Fort Myers – Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods hold dear.
Whether you are planning an intimate getaway, a destination wedding, a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon or all of the above, you’ll find the most naturally romantic side of Florida on Lee County’s Southwest Gulf of Mexico coast.
Beach for Two, Please
Romance starts on the area’s sun-kissed sands and a beach named Lovers Key. Part of an all-natural state park, its gazebo overlooks the gulf and oversees many a photogenic wedding.
Pick any stretch of the county’s miles of beaches as a perfect setting for everything from a shared beach picnic to shell-studded nuptials al fresco. Travel experts have named the beaches of Captiva Island the most romantic for their spectacular sunsets. Seclusion-lovers prefer a boat ride to unbridged North Captiva Island or Cayo Costa beaches.
Getting into the good nature of the region’s many wilderness parks and 6,000-plus-acre J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge brings out the rugged impulses in us all.
For added romance, rent a tandem bike or kayak. If you’re lucky, you’ll see mating birds in courtship plumage, and you may even catch manatees kissing -- believed to be a form of communication between the loveable, overstuffed marine mammals.
Another likely spot to find manatees tenderly communing and hear them singing to one another is Manatee Park in North Fort Myers.
Sailboats, Seaside Inns and Sunsets
Florida’s Southwest Coast has built-in romance with its dramatic sunsets that inspire hugs, kisses and even weddings. Other favorite together time and wedding scenarios range from sailboats and yacht cruises to parasailing and wind surfing.
A number of beach resorts on Sanibel Island, such as Casa Ybel Resort, and on Fort Myers Beach, such as Pink Shell Beach Resort, will do all the wedding planning for you. All you have to do is say “I do.”
From intimate candlelit, waterfront dinners to top-rated theater and boogying with your loved one through the night, Lee County knows how to end a day as up-tempo as it began.
Head downtown Fort Myers for dinner à deux at the historic Veranda Restaurant, a romantic comedy professionally performed by Florida Repertory at the Arcade Theatre or the monthly Art Walk and Music Walk street festivals.
Looking for something more intimate and away-from it all? Choose a waterfront restaurant like Pine Island’s historic Tarpon Lodge or funky island-style South Beach Bar & Grille on Fort Myers Beach to end your day on the same love-blissed note as those crazy, fly-united love bugs that show up every spring.
To plan your trip to Lee County, visit Fort Myers – Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods.